Flat Tires Perspectives: an invitation

shadowfax

New Member
I have a Supercharger GX HS Rohloff. 5 weeks/550 miles of ownership and 3 flats. While I have a variety of experiments in play as I get to know my Bike/Mission envelope, I hope this thread I'm starting invites comments which allow us all to think about our individual situations expansively and constructively.

Some of the underlying questions:

How much Performance to give away for Protection?
If I am going to repair flats on the road, how difficult (or easy) do I make this for myself?

My GX came with Schwalbe Rock Razors and Tubes. Since I knew my first couple thousand miles were going to be summer asphalt in good condition (generally at high speed), I had the bike seller change-out my tires before delivery. IMO they were super nice to me: I paid for the tires they recommended, they provided free labor and sealant, and the bike went from Tubes to Tubeless. While I'm in love with the Rolling ease and banked turning ease of the Schwalbe G-One Speed, I still haven't been able to decide if I'm simply in an unlucky period of flats, or more simply, I just don't have enough Protection. I got two flats in the first 150 miles (riding at the 50PSI Max), and then a flat at 500 miles riding with 40PSI which I started using after the second flat (thinking PSI might be contributing to my flat frequency).

Separate from Flats, I'm in love with Tubeless Tires. I have a compressor from Motorcycle days, and I added the Park Tool INF-2. <https://www.parktool.com/product/shop-inflator-inf-2> The ease of seating a tire on a rim is astonishing. After mounting, I put the sealant in thru the valve rather than trying to do both at the same time (fearing the liquid mess I don't really want to clean-up).

My Flat Philosophy is evolving....

At this point, my Flat Tire Goal is to get Home! This means that if I'm 20 miles from home base, I simply need to be able to get my tire to hold 20 PSI. And, I don't mind stopping a few times to refill. I'm desperate to avoid the embarrassment of imposing upon my wife or friends: begging them to come rescue me from solo adventures--as I did many times with Dirt Motorcycles.

NOTE: I realize I could fix a flat by simply having a Tube, and the front tire would be rather easy. However, with a carbon belt, and the Rohloff, and in the Sun with the bike upside down--the Rear would definitely be a Bummer!

Tubeless with Sealant seems the way to go (presently). When the holes are less than 4mm, I've been able to play around with tire rotation and in just a few minutes of controlling a "drowning and drying the hole procedure" I can get the tire to hold 20 PSI easily. When the hole has been larger, I've resorted to motorcycle technique where you use a plunger to locate sticky strips in the hole (with a coat of two-minute super glue), and then trim and "drown and dry that with sealant. I've gotten better at this the more I do it. I've customized both motorcycle and bicycle strips to fit the hole size. I also carry a Mini Foot Pump (again from motorcycle days) to supply high volume air with a minimum amount of pumping.

Not a recommendation, just an illustration: <https://www.ebay.com/itm/Mini-Porta...511102?hash=item4d9d2ddfbe:g:cRcAAOSwr3Bdlov1>

Once back at home (though still in the experimental stages), I've been working with cold-vulcanizing glue and high quality tire patches to more fully repair the ($80) tire for reuse.

I'm highly motivated to refine my own perspective and develop an efficient action plan (assuming I may need to live with more flats for awhile). Obviously, I may be forced into more protection (and less infatuation with how my tires perform) as I become exhausted and perhaps frustrated with too much tire repair. I'm hoping others will share their philosophy and experiences for a robust discussion.

--shadowfax
 

MarkF

Active Member
Good post. Flats are my biggest concerns. I have the tires and tubes that came with my bike. I bought a pump and patch kit along with a spare inner tube. Now I'm thinking of getting some sealant to try and add after I get a flat and see if that seals up the flat without taking the tire off. Either way I feel covered in the event of a flat. Iv'e been lucky after a year of riding and no flats to date.
 

The duke

Active Member
I've got almost 1000, primarily high speed (20mph) rutty, pot holed road miles on emtb. I've got Schwabe Nobby Nics on and I fill them to about 22lbs.

I was new to biking and new to tubeless and sealant. I was under the impression that it made tires practically puncture proof.

In the past 6 months, I've aimed for every coke can, jagged rock and broken glass I could find and have happily ridden over all of them. There are thorny bushes here in SoCal, known for giving roadies flats in the dry summer.

I've never had to repair a tire yet. I've had a few thorns in my tires. I've pulled them out and heard the 'woosh' of exiting air, but I've simply spun my tire and watched the holes seal with goo.

I can't believe you've had 3 full blown flats in 500 miles and that the sealant wasn't able to stop them?? I don't carry any flat repair stuff with me, as I feel the tubeless sealant gives me superman-like protection from flats. I'm coming up on the 5 month window where I'm supposed to replace sealant, which I'll definitely do. Hope things settle down for you! What objects are causing all your flats?
 

Tars Tarkas

Well-Known Member
I have tube tires; OEM Kenda Juggernauts, 26x4, on my RadRover. I've had one flat in about 1400 miles, and that was before adding Slime. I don't know much about tubeless tires, but best I can tell, it's a myth that they are more immune to flats than tubed tires with sealant. Maybe they're easier to repair on the road, I'm not sure. Slime seems to be all you need. Nevertheless, I carry patches, tire irons, CO2, a spare tube and the tools to get a rear wheel off.

I have a pretty high opinion of Slime. Stans and others may be just as good or better for all I know, but I don't think you should ever count on any preventive measures 100%. Depending on where you ride and your mechanical ability, either have what you need to fix most flats or carry a cell phone to call for help. A tire or tube can be damaged beyond repair, and you can get 20 miles from help and may not have cell coverage, or even anyway for help to get to you without bicycling or hiking in. I think flats are largely a matter of bad luck, but they require some kind of plan!

TT
 

shadowfax

New Member
thanx for all the thoughts... I think the Sealant works well for small holes... There's a YouTube out there where a guy does different hole sizes and challenges various brands of Sealant to see how well they do. All of my holes have been from glass. I'm starting to see that glass is everywhere, and it goes thru an evolution of becoming increasingly smaller. Seems like the ones that are getting me are sliver like about the size of very small thorns (In S Calif) that appear at certain times. My next move in combating my bad luck (or simply tires without adequate protection), is that I've ordered a pair of "tire Wipers". Many years ago I put a set on my road bike and found that they (or luck) pretty much eliminated flat tires. The philosophy is that your tire first picks up the problem during the first roll over, while the the puncture occurs on the second roll over. The tire wiper rubs the tire clean before the second roll....

A additional comment on my sealant experience. I have had sealant FIX two of the small holes. HOWEVER, as soon as I bump the tire pressure up from my 20PSI make it back to my house pressure (to my desired 40PSI) they started to leak slowly. Slow enough to easily ride for a few hours as they wheeze from 40PSI back down to about 25ish. In the beginning, when I was still into the 50PSI rolling feel, they would start making a lot of noise while still in my garage losing the higher pressure more dramatically....
 

webcurl

Well-Known Member
My R&M SC GX has done well over 5000km and in that time with mostly Schwalbe Marathon Plus MTB's with tubes i've had one flat - from a 40mm screw in the rear that the front tire must have flicked upright for the rear to go over. But Marathon Plus MTB's are more than twice as heavy as the tires you're talking about. No pain (weight) no gain (protection).
 

shadowfax

New Member
My R&M SC GX has done well over 5000km and in that time with mostly Schwalbe Marathon Plus MTB's with tubes i've had one flat - from a 40mm screw in the rear that the front tire must have flicked upright for the rear to go over. But Marathon Plus MTB's are more than twice as heavy as the tires you're talking about. No pain (weight) no gain (protection).


any comment on what you think about your tires on various road textures.... for example do you ride much on asphalt: noise, vibration, feel, etc? I'm thinking power consumption might be greater but on most of my rides that would be a non-issue... thanx in advance
 

webcurl

Well-Known Member
any comment on what you think about your tires on various road textures.... for example do you ride much on asphalt: noise, vibration, feel, etc? I'm thinking power consumption might be greater but on most of my rides that would be a non-issue... thanx in advance
Mostly sealed roads, lot's of debris (glass, etc.), some dirt roads, gravel. Have previously had the following combinations:
Front: Marathon Mondial (50-584), Rear: Super Moto-X (62-584) - Quiet on roads, not much grip on anything else, nice cushioning on the rear, slippery when wet.
Front: Marathon Plus MTB (57-584), Rear: Super Moto-X (62-584) - Still quiet on roads, better grip when cornering on all surfaces, same cushioning on rear, rear still slippery when wet.
Front: Marathon Plus MTB, Rear: Marathon Plus MTB (57-584) - slightly more vibration on roads but still quiet, even better grip when cornering on all surfaces, less cushioning on rear, better when wet.
Currently: Front: Marathon Plus MTB (57-584), Rear: Smart Sam (65-584, DD, Addix, SnakeSkin) - definitely more vibration and noise on roads, even better cushioning on rear, even better grip in all conditions, much better in shallow sand/powdered dirt, much better when wet.
Most of the wet conditions i travel in are roads with thin layers of sand/dirt on them.
Purchased the Smart Sam cheap as i guess Schwalbe's new Smart Sam DD was about to be released.
Now wish i waited and paid more the the extra protection of the DD.
Coming back into Summer here in Australia i will probably put the Marathon Plus MTB back onto the rear as there's not as much wet/mud.
 

webcurl

Well-Known Member
Having said that, i will stick to tubes as i intend to go on some long tours in the Aussie outback and getting caught out needing a compressor or not enough slime, etc. would be disastrous even though on rocky terrain and course dirt roads lower pressure might be an advantage.
But i'll be limited with carrying weight - water, food, solar charging equipment, etc. and on the longest, most risky trips i may carry a spare belt, spare emergency G-One Speed (because it weighs only 500g) and tubes.
 

sl_duck

Member
I love CO2 canisters for quick filling, but am always a little worried about running out if the fix doesn't hold.
Not sure if you've seen these before, but Gaadi makes tubes that don't require the wheel to be removed. You still need to remove the valve stem though, and then put it all back to tubeless when you get home.

Dynaplug also now makes a nice kit aimed at cyclists. I've used these, but I wonder if the brass tips will puncture a tube if I later have to resort to putting one in.

Maybe a weekly inspection of your tire tread would catch bits of glass before they work through the casing?
 
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sfnorton

New Member
I’m running the stock Rock Razors, tubeless, using Orange valves and sealant. I’ve had the Homage for about 4 months and about 1k miles. No flats yet. Pretty even mix of pavement and rocky fire road. I carry a tube, a Park TB-2 Emergency Tire Boot, tire levers, small tubeless tire plug kit, and a CO2 inflator for the rare but certain flat in my future. I rode mountain bikes for many years and it’s absolutely true that tubeless tires greatly diminish flat frequency. When you combine tubeless with a tire that has great flat protection built in, flats become extremely rare. I’ve settled on 35psi as a good compromise for pavement and dirt.
 

Over50

Well-Known Member
My GX came with Schwalbe Rock Razors and Tubes. Since I knew my first couple thousand miles were going to be summer asphalt in good condition (generally at high speed), I had the bike seller change-out my tires before delivery...

... When the hole has been larger, I've resorted to motorcycle technique where you use a plunger to locate sticky strips in the hole (with a coat of two-minute super glue), and then trim and "drown and dry that with sealant. I've gotten better at this the more I do it. I've customized both motorcycle and bicycle strips to fit the hole size. I also carry a Mini Foot Pump (again from motorcycle days) to supply high volume air with a minimum amount of pumping....

I've been exploring the possibility of going tubeless for commuting (street riding). I thought the motorcycle technique you speak of was the standard way to fix a puncture when going tubeless? Hence the various products sold such as by Lezyne (carried with CO2 inflator):


Part of my reasoning for exploring the tubeless option was thinking that I would reduce the possibility of a puncture and, if one were to occur, it would be much easier to fix on the road (with the kit in the video). Is that not correct?

I had my dealer change the Rock Razors from my Charger GX to the Super Moto X. I've posted on the forum about my experience with glass. So far no flats on several bikes with Schwalbe Big Apples and Super Moto X. I think I've been lucky because the glass is abundant in my city streets. I can sometimes hear and feel the glass crunching under the tires. Our urban bike lanes are particularly bad. I inspect the tires after or before each ride for anything embedded. Like I said, I've been very lucky and figuring my luck must be about to run out, I've been reading up on the tubeless options.
 

6zfshdb

Well-Known Member
I ride mostly gravel, dirt and some paved trails. I do very little on road riding. I had 2 flats in 500 miles (nail and glass shard) with the Schwalbe Fat Franks that came stock on my bike. I switched to Schwalbe Marathon Plus MTB's with Schwalbe Downhill tubes and haven't had a flat in 2000 miles.

For the type of riding I do, I notice no difference in handling performance. The ride with the Marathons is a bit stiffer than the Fat Franks but I compromise by running 40 psi instead of 60. The rolling resistance with the Marathon's is slightly greater and are about 2# heavier but with an ebike, it really doesn't matter for my riding style.

I use Slime, carry a Gaddi plus a regular tube, tire tools, patch kit, small hand pump and Co2 inflator. I also carry tools necessary to remove the rear wheel just in case.
 

sfnorton

New Member
I've been exploring the possibility of going tubeless for commuting (street riding). I thought the motorcycle technique you speak of was the standard way to fix a puncture when going tubeless? Hence the various products sold such as by Lezyne (carried with CO2 inflator):


Part of my reasoning for exploring the tubeless option was thinking that I would reduce the possibility of a puncture and, if one were to occur, it would be much easier to fix on the road (with the kit in the video). Is that not correct?

I had my dealer change the Rock Razors from my Charger GX to the Super Moto X. I've posted on the forum about my experience with glass. So far no flats on several bikes with Schwalbe Big Apples and Super Moto X. I think I've been lucky because the glass is abundant in my city streets. I can sometimes hear and feel the glass crunching under the tires. Our urban bike lanes are particularly bad. I inspect the tires after or before each ride for anything embedded. Like I said, I've been very lucky and figuring my luck must be about to run out, I've been reading up on the tubeless options.
I've been exploring the possibility of going tubeless for commuting (street riding). I thought the motorcycle technique you speak of was the standard way to fix a puncture when going tubeless? Hence the various products sold such as by Lezyne (carried with CO2 inflator):


Part of my reasoning for exploring the tubeless option was thinking that I would reduce the possibility of a puncture and, if one were to occur, it would be much easier to fix on the road (with the kit in the video). Is that not correct?

I had my dealer change the Rock Razors from my Charger GX to the Super Moto X. I've posted on the forum about my experience with glass. So far no flats on several bikes with Schwalbe Big Apples and Super Moto X. I think I've been lucky because the glass is abundant in my city streets. I can sometimes hear and feel the glass crunching under the tires. Our urban bike lanes are particularly bad. I inspect the tires after or before each ride for anything embedded. Like I said, I've been very lucky and figuring my luck must be about to run out, I've been reading up on the tubeless options.
Yes, that’s the tubeless plug kit I carry!
 

Bobsiii

Active Member
I've got the stock Schwalbe Big Bens w/tube on my Magnum, ride almost exclusively on paved surfaces, MUTs and roads. 2400 miles, 1 flat at about 2000. I think Denver does a pretty good job of sweeping streets but with all the construction going on there's plenty of debris around.

My puncture was off to the side of the Kevlar belt, could not find hole/cause in the tire. Changed my first tube in 30 yrs, good to go - but I was apprehensive for the first 100 miles or so worrying about not being able to find that cause.
 

StmbtDave

Active Member
Those of you that have been experiencing flats with your tubeless tires, have you been refreshing the sealant? I just converted my wheels from tube to tubeless and the LBS told me I needed to add a bit of sealant every couple of months. He said the sealant is latex based and will dry out over time to where it no longer is effective.
 

hurricane56

Active Member
I currently have about 12k miles between two bikes over the course of 3 years.

Bike 1: 2016 Haibike Trekking S equipped with Schwalbe Energizer Plus tires. These tires are very puncture resistant and provide good wet weather grip. From my records they only average one flat every 1000-1200k miles. I equipped the tires with tire liners as an extra protection, and in the last year I installed Stans tubeless sealant into the tubes. The liners and sealant added weight to both wheels but I didn’t feel any change in performance or handling. Due to the mid-drive motor setup of this bike, dealing with flat tires wasn’t that bad, a 10-15 minute change out.

Bike 2: 2017 Juiced Bike HF1000 equipped with two different types of tires. My first set of tires were V Tire Company Speedsters. I ran these fat bike tires for 1250 miles and they were absolutely terrible in terms of puncture resistance. I‘s likely that I made the mistake of buying the 120TPI version that had a very soft casing, but the tires are designed to be thin and light. With the both sets of tires I installed tire liners, and learned the tire liners are no match for metal road debris. Overall performance with this tire was really good, but I had flats at least once every 150 miles, I recall almost a whole summer of changing flat tires every week.

For fat tire applications my favorite tire has been the Origin8 Capti8er in 30TPI. Once I changed over to this tire my rate of flats went to about one every 750 miles. I combined this with tire liners and Orange Seal tire sealant in tubes. This has been my go-to combination for the last 6k miles on this bike. As this bike is a rear hub drive, I really try to avoid debris as much as possible, since the tube changes take double the time or longer compared to a standard quick release type setup. The extra weight of the hub motor and wiring also slows down the process. For this bike I didn’t really take into consideration the extra weight of the tire as the bike has more than enough power.

My general recommendations and observations:

- Be prepared with tools, hand pump, co2, extra tube. Anything and everything you might be willing to carry to make your life easier when your tire punctures is key. Extra things like a headlamp, valve cores, patches are also handy. I even carry a few nitrile gloves so my hands don’t get greasy.

- Check your tools and spares. Tools and spares that are constantly rattling around in trunk bag or pannier can fail. I’ve seen hand pumps rattle loose and even new tubes have punctures.

- If at all possible, don’t ride in the gutter and avoid vegetation that has goat heads, thorns, etc.

- Sealants and tubeless setups can help with most punctures, but be prepared to deal with the mess. A punctured tire in the process of being sealed will still spray sealant everywhere. A few paper towels in a bag might be a good idea.

- Learn to patch tubes and re-use them. Unless a puncture goes right through a previously patched area, keep that tube running and save money by patching it.

- For those running sealant in tubes or tubeless, if you get a puncture, slow down to about 5-10 mph and let that sealant do it’s work. Use a co2 or add air if necessary.
 

FlatSix911

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Silicon Valley
I've got the stock Schwalbe Big Bens w/tube on my Magnum, ride almost exclusively on paved surfaces, MUTs and roads. 2400 miles, 1 flat at about 2000. I think Denver does a pretty good job of sweeping streets but with all the construction going on there's plenty of debris around.

My puncture was off to the side of the Kevlar belt, could not find hole/cause in the tire. Changed my first tube in 30 yrs, good to go - but I was apprehensive for the first 100 miles or so worrying about not being able to find that cause.


Here's another vote for the Schwalbe Big Bens ... great riding tire with Level-6 protection. ;)


1572215808726.png
 

webcurl

Well-Known Member
I have a Supercharger GX HS Rohloff. 5 weeks/550 miles of ownership and 3 flats. While I have a variety of experiments in play as I get to know my Bike/Mission envelope, I hope this thread I'm starting invites comments which allow us all to think about our individual situations expansively and constructively.

Some of the underlying questions:

How much Performance to give away for Protection?
If I am going to repair flats on the road, how difficult (or easy) do I make this for myself?

My GX came with Schwalbe Rock Razors and Tubes. Since I knew my first couple thousand miles were going to be summer asphalt in good condition (generally at high speed), I had the bike seller change-out my tires before delivery. IMO they were super nice to me: I paid for the tires they recommended, they provided free labor and sealant, and the bike went from Tubes to Tubeless. While I'm in love with the Rolling ease and banked turning ease of the Schwalbe G-One Speed, I still haven't been able to decide if I'm simply in an unlucky period of flats, or more simply, I just don't have enough Protection. I got two flats in the first 150 miles (riding at the 50PSI Max), and then a flat at 500 miles riding with 40PSI which I started using after the second flat (thinking PSI might be contributing to my flat frequency).

Separate from Flats, I'm in love with Tubeless Tires. I have a compressor from Motorcycle days, and I added the Park Tool INF-2. <https://www.parktool.com/product/shop-inflator-inf-2> The ease of seating a tire on a rim is astonishing. After mounting, I put the sealant in thru the valve rather than trying to do both at the same time (fearing the liquid mess I don't really want to clean-up).

My Flat Philosophy is evolving....

At this point, my Flat Tire Goal is to get Home! This means that if I'm 20 miles from home base, I simply need to be able to get my tire to hold 20 PSI. And, I don't mind stopping a few times to refill. I'm desperate to avoid the embarrassment of imposing upon my wife or friends: begging them to come rescue me from solo adventures--as I did many times with Dirt Motorcycles.

NOTE: I realize I could fix a flat by simply having a Tube, and the front tire would be rather easy. However, with a carbon belt, and the Rohloff, and in the Sun with the bike upside down--the Rear would definitely be a Bummer!

Tubeless with Sealant seems the way to go (presently). When the holes are less than 4mm, I've been able to play around with tire rotation and in just a few minutes of controlling a "drowning and drying the hole procedure" I can get the tire to hold 20 PSI easily. When the hole has been larger, I've resorted to motorcycle technique where you use a plunger to locate sticky strips in the hole (with a coat of two-minute super glue), and then trim and "drown and dry that with sealant. I've gotten better at this the more I do it. I've customized both motorcycle and bicycle strips to fit the hole size. I also carry a Mini Foot Pump (again from motorcycle days) to supply high volume air with a minimum amount of pumping.

Not a recommendation, just an illustration: <https://www.ebay.com/itm/Mini-Porta...511102?hash=item4d9d2ddfbe:g:cRcAAOSwr3Bdlov1>

Once back at home (though still in the experimental stages), I've been working with cold-vulcanizing glue and high quality tire patches to more fully repair the ($80) tire for reuse.

I'm highly motivated to refine my own perspective and develop an efficient action plan (assuming I may need to live with more flats for awhile). Obviously, I may be forced into more protection (and less infatuation with how my tires perform) as I become exhausted and perhaps frustrated with too much tire repair. I'm hoping others will share their philosophy and experiences for a robust discussion.

--shadowfax
My SC GX is from 2018, therefore is manual shift and i find it real easy to get the rear wheel off and on again. Belt tension stays the same everytime. My biggest worry is keeping the extarnal gear mech clean but this is easy. Shouldn't be much harder with E14, just have to be gentle with the cable i guess.